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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

What? Me? "Just" A Housewife and Mother?!?

A housewife and mother to 4 kids -- my fulltime career now. :) 

If anybody told me 10 or 15 years ago, that I would become "just' a housewife and mother in 2014, 
I would have done any one of the following:

-  taken offense for thinking of me so "lowly"
- argued with that person saying, "These are not the ancient times, you know!
 Women are empowered and can take on any job and career!"
- opened my mouth in "horror" over the thought of "not achieving" anything in my life
- gotten disappointed with the "waste" of my talents and capabilities
- and so much more...

Why, you say?

Allow me to explain by giving you a brief history of how I was raised. Most of the time, how we think and behave are molded right in the comfort of our own homes as children, in the presence of two people we hold in high esteem: our parents.

Before I begin, allow me to say that in sharing some 'negative' aspects about my deceased parents, I mean no harm and no foul. I do not desire to malign them. They raised me and my sister in the best way they knew how, and judging from how we turned out : as God-fearing and responsible individuals, their parenting was not in vain. However, to arrive at a complete picture of why I was the way I was, or why I thought the way I did, I do need to share about some aspects in their parenting, that left much room for growth. Mama and Papa were kind and generous people and I am grateful for their love; and I love them both. May they rest in peace.

                                                               For starters...
Thea and Reuben Cleofe

Mama told me:

- that she stepped on Papa's toes literally, after they got married, while still at the altar, as part of her superstitious beliefs (Mama was extremely superstitious and always consulted fortune tellers. :( ) that if she did that, she would never be "under" my father. In short, she did not want to be controlled or be under the rightful leadership of her husband. She also tried to outwalk Papa by moving faster than him, for the same reason previously mentioned -- She didn't want to submit to anybody!

- to NEVER trust anybody.

- to NEVER tell my parents if my future husband and I ever got into an argument, because my parents would side with me and hate my spouse way after I have forgiven him. (Weird, I know. She was my parent!)

-  to NEVER compete with my husband in career (This was not applicable to my marriage. I was actually frustrated by Dong's being left behind and not being able to keep up with me!)

* * * * * * * *

Papa was a man of few words, but growing up he told me that:
It was always awkward when I was with both of them.
We were used to just being with Mama, but I cherished
it when we were all together. - March 1992

- I was fat and grumpy and that if I continued to be such, no man would ever marry me. (At the age of 12, I became a borderline anorexic. I also suffered from an eating disorder for more than a decade.)

- If I were to marry, I had to marry somebody intelligent, because if I didn't, my gene pool would suffer. (Papa gave high regard to intelligence and usually judged/respected people based on their intelligence.)

- I should stop singing songs that had high notes because I would not be able to reach them. 

- My cooking was not good, and if he could not "name" it, he would not eat it.

- To always aim for the best. If I did not study and still got a so-so mark, what more if I studied? I would get a perfect score!

* * * * * * * * * * 

Seeing their relationship too which was:
April  1975

- not touchy
- not prone to sweet gestures, with nary a kiss on the cheek!
- not conversant with each other
- super serious at home but super jolly with their separate friends/office mates
- strained and seemingly unhappy

...add to that, their extreme career-orientedness (We were left to nearly be raised alone by our live-in yaya/nanny, Sepa while they went about their own lives and busy careers -- Hers, as a TV executive. His, as a corporate legal counsel.)...
Our nanny, Josefa or "Sepa" took care of us from 1973 to 1993.
.... I was pretty much led to believe that once I got married:

- I should be my own woman and not have any need for a man. (Mama)
- I should live my life independently of my husband, and to each his/her own. (Mama and Papa)
- I should focus on my career and just hire a nanny who can look after my children. (Mama and Papa)
- I should try to do my best in everything because if I did, I would matter and be worthy of love and attention (distorted understanding of the teachings of Papa -- He was a great provider but I was always hungry for his attention and love. Much was to be desired with regards to his emotional availability.)
- I could have it all and should not stop till I had it all (distorted understanding of the teachings of Mama)
- pursue all my dreams (Mama -- She was a great traveler and would leave us months on end, which traumatized me as a child. :( )
- etc. etc.

Newscast January 2013, a week before I resigned for good andleft broadcasting.

Understand, that what they taught me and how I may have accepted or absorbed their teachings, may be two different things. But, to a young, impressionable girl, that was how I took their teachings to heart.


I also suffered from:
14 years old and depressed

- very low self-esteem which "I" raised by overachieving, overcompensating for my flaws and trying to be 'perfect'
- suicidal tendencies from feeling so worthless
- an eating disorder that ate up (pun intended) all of my thinking moments ("Am I fat?", "I should not eat this! It will make me gain pounds!", "I am so fat and ugly. I deserve to die!")
- a constant need for reassurance that I was okay, that I was pretty, that I was sexy...
- a deep desire to make a name for myself and be famous (and when I did not get jobs I applied for which I felt would make me achieve my goal of becoming a household name, I got depressed and blamed God.)
- debilitating depression which could last for months on end, with thoughts of gloom, death and despair 24/7
- the tiring habit of always comparing myself with others and finding myself  always coming up short when compared to them, which started the cycle of depression all over again! :(

But, deep down inside... I knew that I wanted to come out of those bondages. I knew that there was a light at the end of the tunnel. I just did not know how to get out of my cage or when I would ever see that light! I felt so forsaken and hopeless! I created this cage for myself with the key thrown out! How or when would I ever be saved?!?!

But, God does show His Mercy to a repentant sinner...

Psalm 51:17

My sacrifice, O God, is[a] a broken spirit;

    a broken and contrite heart

    you, God, will not despise.




Isabelle, our "unwanted" child. How could I ever not want her?!? :(

And so when I was at the end of my rope in 2013...

- from having a fourth (initially "unwanted") child
- resigning from my job
- being chastised for my Catholic faith
- getting into a rift with a close family member
- selling the only property left by my deceased parents
- being tired of the constant worries and fears...

God FOUND me. I FOUND Him.

And life has never been the same! :)

If anybody told me that at this time of my life, I would be:
Already biblically submissive - Nov 2013

- career-less
- a stay at home mother; and
- a full-time housewife

I would have said 10 to 15 years ago, "NO WAY! How could that make me matter in anybody's eyes? That's waaaaaaay boring!"

Which reminds me....

 I remember telling Dong during one of my lowest moments in 2011 (when I was still leading the family and being so controlling towards my husband -- my lowest year, I believe), that I felt that I did not matter, he said: "You matter... To me. To us. To your kids." I remember looking at him oddly, and not appreciating the wisdom in those words, I said: "Okay. But I need to MATTER to the world!"

I was so spiritually blind then. :(

But the Lord had opened my eyes and my heart now. I am no longer blind! Halleluiah! I can now see!!! I now know that I have been deceived by the enemy for so long. That I have turned to the world to assure me of my worth, when I should have just turned to Jesus, to know that I am worthy... not for anything I have done or still need to do, but simply because He died for me. I am the daughter of a King!
Pregnant with our 4th - Jan 2013

Satan can taunt me all he wants now but I have won the battle against depression, feelings of worthlessness, obsession with career, people-pleasing tendencies,  my eating disorder, my desire to control my life and my husband, and so much more.... because Christ has strengthened me, and continues to strengthen me!!! Not only that, He has also released me from all my bondages, when I decided on September 1, 2013 to let go and let God and put at the foot of Jesus' Cross, ALL my:

-ambitions and
-selfish desires 

I now rest in God's Sovereignty. He is God; I am not. He is already in the future; I can only be here in the present. He is in control; I am not, but I can practice self-control. All He requires of me is to trust in Him, have faith in Him and leave it all in His Hands, because He loves me. He holds my life in His Hands. I am protected. I am safe. I am free. :)

And now, as my husband's helper and the full-time mother to our four children, I can honestly say, from the top of my lungs, that I am not just a housewife and mother. 
My loving husband to whom I have submitted
in everything, as unto the Lord (Ephesians 5:22- 33)
-- Dong
March 2014 

I am a housewife and a mother -- the greatest calling God can give to a woman like me! :)

Titus 2:3-5

Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.

If anybody told me I would be the Nikka that I am now -- peaceful, free of worries, joyful, enjoying obscurity, loving modesty, and being gentle and quiet-- I would not believe that person!!! No freaking way! Nikka?!? Are we talking about the go-getter, spread-too-thin, fashionable, vain, eternally worried (of the future and of cancer), and talkative Nikka?!? That doesn't sound like her at all!

But, God has changed me. And I would rather die than to go back to my former worldly self again.

Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: 
old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

A sister in Christ quoted this beautiful line which says,

"The greatest work you will ever do will be within the walls of your own home."
In our new home - August 2013

What? Me? A housewife and a stay-at-home mother?!? 
Yes. I am.
Do you have a problem with that? I don't. :)
 Praise be to God! His Wisdom is truly glorious.
I love Him so. :)

May we all be richly blessed! :)


  1. What an absolutely beautiful testimony, Veronica! The sad thing is that daughters being raised in a Christian home are getting the same message and modeling you received from your parents. The lies of Satan have so infiltrated the church that even many Christians dislike the Truths we teach. Keep it up, young mommy! You are on the narrow road that leads to life!

    1. Very narrow, Lori! If I didn't have you or April or the other passionate godly mentors/wives to always be in constant communication with, it would be an ever harder road to tread. I am blessed to be amongst women like you to further strengthen my resolve. With Christ though, we already have everything! He strengthens us daily and He alone is enough! :)

  2. You have a beautiful family, Glory to God!!!
    "Just" a housewife and mama this is the hardest jobs E V E R. But the rewards are eternal.

    May God continue to strengthen you and your family and may HE bless you all abundantly!

    1. Thanks for the kind words, tribalmama! Glory be to God for having and keeping and being able to serve God through "the hardest jobs E V E R!" :) God bless you too. :)

  3. I never get tired of reading your testimony, Nikka! Always brings a smile to my face. The before and after pictures are dramatic.

    1. Hi Genie! :)

      Thank you for seeing the striking difference. It's not so much as my face has changed, but my heart has. And, I think that is what you are able to see... the glow from a "gentle and quiet spirit that is precious with the Lord." Thank you for noticing, sister! :)



  4. No way! What a great testimony and as you now know there really is no way out of all our past until we place it at the foot of the cross and let our Lord Jesus take it all from us. New Creatures, alive in Christ the instant we believe!

    What a great testimony. I love it and you tell it so well. I pray the Lord will use your words, your blog and your life to be a great witness for Him in a dark and dying world. God bless... and it looks like he already has in so many ways, especially your darling family!

    1. Hi Ken! :)

      No way, right?!? ;) ME?!?

      I still find it unbelievable at times... But believe, I do, because it is true. Finally, my heart is no longer restless. My spirit is at peace. I rest in God's Loving Arms. :)

  5. hi, Nikka!! I have not been able to read your posts for a while (the Lord has been speaking to me and I have been silent). I wanted to thank your for speaking truth and Biblical principles. God is the enforcer of His Word, not us! Thank you for sharing your testimony with me when I asked you a while back. I couldn't find that article to respond after I had initially read what you wrote to me. Please forgive me for not being able to find it again to respond....and then I have been seeking God and waiting on Him and His direction on some things. You are a blessing and I want to thank you for working so hard on your blog and for your comments on April's blog. I know how difficult it is to find time when you have young children, so I appreciate your investment of time for the Lord's service :) Sending Love and hugs!! Loved your testimony and you are a beautiful sister in Christ :) God Bless!! ~ Eliza

    1. Hi Eliza! :)

      Nothing to feel sorry about. I am glad that the Lord is speaking to your heart and have followed His Will to keep silent, as you are pondering over His Words.

      I thank you also for the very wise words you've shared just recently on April's "Wasting" blog. That convicted me. I would want to humble myself even more after reading your comment. I would want to share the Gospel more, all the while being aware that not everyone will be at the exact same season of life as I am in now. That was something I needed to hear. Thanks for the kindness you have shown in your words.

      God bless you, Eliza. I have missed hearing from you in PW.



Feel free to comment. I would love to discuss things with you. :)